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How I Graft

This is my multi-grafted apple project. I started with Mollie's Delicious Apple tree, that I grafted 5 other apple varieties onto. From the bottom: Ginger Gold, Mollie's Delicious (Original), Mutsu/Crispin, Tompkins County King, King David and Calville Blanc.

These are my tools for grafting trees.I use Parafilm (nursery grafting tape), a thick (mail room) rubber-band, Grafting tool, and a piece of graft wood (scion).

Decide where you want to attach your graft. Choose an area on a branch that is the same size as your scion. Cut both pieces of wood. Make sure that notch matches. I usually make my notches point up in the same direction as the buds.

Fit them together. It is OK if the sides don't sit just right. Sometimes if you flip the scion around it will fit a bit better.

Actually, even if they are quite mix-matched, as long as the omega/notch part, is touching all along the edge, on one side, you'll have enough contact for the graft to take.

Cut the legnth of the the scion to be only about 3 buds. Now, take a piece of parafilm, and stretch it so make it thinner, and able to stick to itself. Start at the top making sure to seal the top, and work your way down the scion, putting no more that one layer over the buds.

Continue to wrap the parafilm down over the graft union and onto the branch. Make sure at least one side in smooth lined up. Squeeze the parafilm to seal it to itself and tighten the connection.

Take the rubber-band, and snip it so it is one long piece. Start below the graft union, and wrap it up past the union. Don't stretch the band more than 2-times its regular length. I use the band to make a wrap above the graft, then pull it down below the graft for another wrap. This tightens connection, and helps hold the pieces together. Don't put the band on top of the buds.

Now put another layer or two of parafilm over the rubber band. You could also wrap a bit of electrical tape around the actual union. But I don't do that, as the parafilm and rubber band is biodegradable, I don't need to remember to come back later and cut tape off. If the tape is forgotten on the graft it will girdle the tree, and possible kill the graft.

Here is a photo of a graft that has taken. The para film and band should hold a bit longer, before degrading and falling away. It should give the graft enough time to heal well enough to take care of itself.
Important: The tree will try to sprout its own buds below the graft site. When this happens, flick these off with your fingernail. You don't want the tree wasting its energy growing these. You want to force the tree to repair the graft and grow those buds out. If you don't do this, your graft may fail.
Good luck with your grafting projects, I hope they are as successful as mine.

youtube link of this tree
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